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The HONOLULU Magazine Formula for Grading the Public Schools

The methodology we used to rank Hawai‘i’s public schools.


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For each school, there are five categories of school performance data:

 

Achievement

The percentage of a school’s students proficient in math, reading and science, based on test scores.

 

Growth

The median percentile that a school’s students improved in math and English language arts, compared with the previous year.

 

Readiness

a. Elementary and Intermediate: The percentage of a school’s students absent for 15 or more days in a school year.

b. High School: A combination of four factors—the four-year graduation percentage, the percentage of 11th grade students scoring at or above 19 on the ACT test, the college-going percentage and the five-year graduation percentage.

 

Achievement Gap Rate

The percentage gap in proficiency between a school’s high-need students and non-high-need students, divided by the overall proficiency of the non-high-need students. High-need students include economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities and students still learning the English language.

 

Other

a. Elementary: A combination of two factors—the percentage of a school’s students held back for a year, and the percentage of a school’s third-grade students scoring “above” on the SBA English test.

b. Intermediate: The percentage of a school’s students earning a C or higher in Algebra I. 

c. High School: A combination of two factors—the percentage of a school’s students absent for 15 or more days in a school year, and the percentage of students earning a C or higher on AP, IB, UH-course-taking or CTE concentrators.

 

We weight these five categories on a 400-point scale as follows:

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Achievement: 100 points

Growth: 200 points

Readiness: 20 points

Achievement gap: 60 points

Other: 20 points

 

INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS

Achievement: 100 points

Growth: 180 points

Readiness: 60 points

Achievement gap: 40 points

Other: 20 points

 

HIGH SCHOOLS

Achievement: 100 points

Growth: 60 points

Readiness: 200 points

Achievement gap: 20 points

Other: 20 points

 

The Formulas

Want the nitty gritty details of how we awarded points to each of the schools? Here are the spreadsheet formulas we used for each of the five performance categories, which you could use to replicate our results. Note that the formulas often change between the elementary, intermediate and high school levels.

 

1. Achievement

Elementary, Intermediate and High School: Assign a max of 100 points, based on the average of the Math, Reading and Science proficiency percentages, multiplied by 100.

 

2. Growth

Elementary: Assign a max of 200 points, based on the average of the math and English percentages, multiplied by 200.

 

Intermediate: Assign a max of 180 points, based on the average of the math and English percentages, multiplied by 180.

 

High School: Assign a max of 60 points, based on the average of the math and English percentages, multiplied by 60.

 

3. Readiness

Elementary: Assign 20 points for zero chronic absenteeism, down to a minimum of zero points for 50 percent or greater absenteeism. Points assigned according to this formula: Y = ((-1/5)(X)+10) x 2, where X is the percentage of absenteeism.

 

Intermediate: Assign 60 points for zero chronic absenteeism, down to a minimum of zero points for 50 percent or greater absenteeism. Points assigned according to this formula: Y=((-1/5)(X)+10) x 6, where X is the percentage of absenteeism.

 

High School: Assign a max of 200 points, based on the average of the four readiness measures (four-year graduation percentage, percentage of 11th grade students scoring at or above 19 on the ACT test, college-going percentage, five-year graduation percentage) multiplied by 200.

 

4. Achievement gap

Elementary: Assign 60 points for zero achievement gap, down to a minimum of zero points for 100 percent achievement gap. Points assigned according to this formula: Y=((-1/10)(X)+10) x 6, where X is the gap percentage.

 

Intermediate: Assign 40 points for zero achievement gap, down to a minimum of zero points for 100 percent achievement gap. Points assigned according to this formula: Y=((-1/10)(X)+10) x 4, where X is the gap percentage.

 

High School: Assign 20 points for zero achievement gap, down to a minimum of zero points for 100 percent achievement gap. Points assigned according to this formula: Y=((-1/10)(X)+10) x 2, where X is the gap percentage.

 

5. Other

Elementary: Assign a max of 20 points, based on the average of the retention rate and the percentage of third grade students scoring “above” on SBA Reading claim.

 

Intermediate: Assign a max of 20 points, based on the percentage of students earning a C or higher in Algebra I.

 

High school: Assign 10 points for zero chronic absenteeism, down to a minimum of zero points for 50 percent or greater absenteeism. Points assigned according to this formula: Y=(-1/5)(X)+5, where X is the percentage of absenteeism. Then add those points to the percentage of students earning a C or higher on AP, IB, UH-course-taking or CTE Concentrators, multiplied by 10, for a category max of 20 points.

 


 

A few technical notes:

We largely followed the weighting rationale used by the Hawai‘i state DOE in years past. You’ll notice that student growth is heavily prioritized at the elementary-school level, and that, by high school, the priority shifts to real-world measures of success including graduation rates and college enrollment.

 

We excluded from this chart any schools missing two or more categories of data, or missing a vital category (such as math/reading/science proficiency). This eliminated most, but not all, of the charter schools.

 

Several schools did not report certain categories of data (such as achievement gap) for privacy reasons. For those schools, we proportionally redistributed the potential points for that category to their other categories.

 


 

A Guide to the Chart:

1. Rank

This list ranks public schools by their overall scores, with separate rankings for elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.

 

3. District

The statewide school system is divided into seven administrative districts, including O‘ahu’s Honolulu, Central, Leeward and Windward districts; the Big Island’s Hawai‘i district; Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i’s Maui district; and the Kaua‘i district. Some Charter schools are also included.

 

4. Title I

Indicating, Yes or No, whether the school was a Title I school in 2015–16, meaning at least 40 percent of a school’s students were from low-income families, as defined by the federal government.

 

5. Math, 6. Reading, 7. Science

The percentage of students enrolled the full school year that scored proficient or higher in these three subjects on assessments that includes Smarter Balanced Assessments in English-Language Arts and math, HSA science and high school Biology I end-of-course exams, HSA alternate assessments in ELA, math and science, and the Kaiapuni Assessment of Educational Outcomes. 

 

8. Math growth, 9. Reading growth

A school’s median (middle) student growth percentile, which measures how much individual students progressed from one year to the next, in math and ELA.

 

10. Chronic absenteeism rate

(Elementary and Middle Schools) Indicates the percentage of students enrolled for the full school year that missed 15 or more days of school.

 

11. Math gap, 12. ELA gap rate

(Elementary and Middle Schools) This number measures the achievement gap between high-need students and non-high-need students for 2015–16, by comparing the percentage of each group of students who scored proficient or above in math and ELA. A smaller percentage-point spread is better.

 

13. Act scores

(High School) The percentage of full-school-year 11th grade students who scored 19 or higher on the ACT.

 

14. Graduation rate 

(High School) The percentage of a high school’s students that graduated within four years.

 

15. College-going rate

(High School) The percentage of a high school’s graduates that enrolled in college within 16 months of graduating (in other words, within two fall semesters of college).

 

16. Final score

The school’s overall score, out of 400 points.

 

17. Grade

A letter grade assigned by HONOLULU Magazine, based on a standard curve using the schools’ index scores.

 

N/A

Indicates that data is not available, usually because the DOE has redacted results from small classes/schools for privacy reasons.

 

GO BACK: How Did Hawai‘i’s Public Schools Rank in 2016?

 

 

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